Retailers Ration At-Home Covid Tests As Holiday Demand Outpaces Supply
As covid cases spike and Americans seek assurance before gathering for the holidays, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are among the pharmacies and stores that are limiting purchases of rapid at-home tests.
Huge COVID Test Kits Demand Leads To Pharmacy Rationing Purchases
Heavy demand for COVID-19 home test kits, including sellouts at some stores, has led major pharmacy chains to ration individual purchases. Increased interest in testing comes as the nation is experiencing a COVID case surge, with the omicron variant rising quickly in its percentage of diagnoses. Tests are at a premium for holiday travelers hoping to gather safely with family and friends. Customers are limited to four over-the-counter antigen tests at Walgreens pharmacies, while CVS is restricting buyers to six kits. (Keveney, 12/22)
CVS And Walgreens To Limit Purchases Of At-Home Covid Tests
The two largest pharmaceutical chain stores in the US -- CVS Health and Walgreens -- are limiting the number of at-home Covid kits customers can buy due to huge demand. The rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant ahead of the holidays has sparked the surge -- and there has been anecdotal evidence over the past week of test shortages at stores across the country. CVS Health acknowledged in a statement on Tuesday that tests may be temporarily out of stock at their stores. "To ensure equitable access to tests both in store and digitally, we've added a limit of six test kits per purchase," the company said. (Alonso, 12/21)
Walmart Limits Online Ordering Of COVID-19 Tests To Eight Kits
Walmart Inc said on Tuesday demand for at-home COVID-19 testing kits was "extremely high" and that it had set a limit of eight test kits per online order. (Soni, 12/21)
The New York Times:
All Anyone Wants For Christmas Is A Covid Test
Abbott Laboratories, which made headlines back in August for destroying materials used in its tests, citing limited shelf life, said the company is currently making more than 50 million BinaxNOW rapid antigen test kits every month. In January, the company said, it will increase its output to 70 million a month. “We actually maintained usable test components, many of which have been in short supply during the pandemic — such as reagent bottles, cardboard packaging, swabs, nitrocellulose strips and even paper labeling — so that we could have them in the event that we needed to scale back up, which is exactly what’s happening now,” John Koval, a company spokesman, said in a statement. (Cherelus and Kambhampaty, 12/21)
‘An Arm And A Leg’: The Rapid-Test Edition: Who’s Making A Buck?
Rapid, at-home covid-19 tests are close to essential if you want to see friends and family this holiday season, and do your best to stay safe. But they’re freaking expensive and can be hard to find. What the heck happened? (Weissmann, 12/22)